Edward Douglas Miller
Douglas Miller, the inventor of Remarkable (a recyclable pencil), is
an environmentalist who was brought up in a rural village near
Edinburgh. He says he used to collect insects and butterflies when
he was a kid.
The son of Robbie and Judy Douglas-Miller, this inventor learnt
first-hand about environmental issues when he went to Kenya for a
year, working on a game ranch. After coming back (he had completed
his A levels before going to Kenya), he went to the Royal
Agricultural College, where he studied farming and the economy.
However, he found that working on a farm was not something he wanted
So, the future inventor went and worked in the city
for a year or so, and then studied for some management courses. The
he returned with his passion for environment. It is when he worked
at Savewood, a recycling company, that his mind began conceiving the
Douglas Miller started working on turning a
plastic cup into a pencil, formalizing the product under the company
name Remarkable in 1996. He then spent the next two years
experimenting with the production process and improving his
invention, all the while paying his own rent and bills by doing odd
jobs. The inventor had to work for 16 hour days during this period.
For supplying the plastic cups needed for producing his
invention, he chose a company called Save A Cup, which had a
nationwide campaign to get offices to collect their polystyrene
Still, the company Remarkable made a loss of 15,000
pounds in its first year. However, the change of government brought
luck to this inventor. The Design Council, after the Labor Party
came to power, began an initiative to identify 2000 pioneering
companies that would lead innovation in the next millennium.
Remarkable was selected, dramatically increasing the company’s
sales. His invention was made the International Invention of the
Year – this helped him a lot.
Now, the inventor’s company has
a turnover of 3.5 million pounds.
His secret of success in
his words: “belief, focus and commitment and an overpowering sense
that the planet is unsustainable unless we make significant
His advice to future inventors: “If you are in
business, you are in business. So keep an eye on that side of
things. Most importantly, believe in yourself and believe in your
Hugely successful eco-inventor and businessman Ed Douglas Miller has
a unique mission in life: to educate Britain to be more
environmentally responsible by using UK manufactured and UK
recycled, funky and innovative every day eco-products. His
eco-manufacturing and retail business Remarkable does just that; and
is built on the success of years of new inventions and quirky
Now, at the age of 45, having spent 15 years driving
his own business with passion and pioneering spirit, Ed is about to
give away thousands of pounds of his own money as he embarks on a
new challenge as a Secret Millionaire. Ed leaves behind his family
and his home to travel to Norwich for episode 3 of the Channel 4
programme now airing on Sundays at 9pm.
During his time
undercover, Ed lived on job seekers allowance in one of the most
deprived areas of Norfolk, with high levels of poverty, hardship and
unemployment. He goes on a very personal journey to meet people who
need his help.
All of the people Ed met have told their own
story of courage and triumph over tragedy. The whole experience was
an incredibly emotional journey leaving a very real feeling that
these events could happen to anyone of us at any time.
said, “The people who I met whilst filming the show have truly
inspired and amazed me. The wonderful volunteers, who are giving
their time and their money selflessly to help others, are all people
that Britain should be extremely proud of. I am in awe of their
never ending energy and determination – they truly are remarkable
Any contributions will be
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